July 2014: Awards and accolades for Haslingden’s best

OUTSTANDING students and staff were rewarded at Haslingden High School in the Citizen of the Year Awards.

In total, the school received 256 individual nominations and on the night 32 awards were presented to deserving students and members of staff for their outstanding contribution to school.

One of the many students receiving an award was Rhiannon Davies-Bull, 15, who has faced her own personal difficulties but never missed school and ‘always has a smile’.

Before each award was presented, a film showing comments from people who had nominated them was shown.

Rhiannon, from Bacup, said: “I am a member of the School Council and I get involved positively with school life. I have also got involved with lots of fundraising.”

Her neighbour Tony Edwards, a teacher at Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School, kindly stepped in to present the award.

Raising money for others was a key feature of many of the students who were honoured including Eleanor Driver, 16, who had her head shaved after the seventh member of her family was affected by cancer. Her locks were sent to the Princess Trust to make a wig for a child with cancer.

Sisters Jade and Kirsty Street (17 and 15) were acknowledged for their hard work in the charity team and for baking hundreds of cakes while Freya Nash, 13, also baked and sold cakes to raise money to send her uncle to America for cancer treatment, although unfortunately he was too ill to make the journey.

For Jack Lill, 15, his award was for helping an elderly man he found collapsed and injured in a back alley.

Sylvia Lancaster, mother of former student Sophie who was murdered in 2007 in a Bacup park, presented an award to Hayley Vick, 14, who devotes seven hours each week to help people with disabilities, including her sister.

Mrs Lancaster attended with author Alan Gibbons who had written a novel based on what happened to Sophie.

Staff were also rewarded and member of the site team Tim Clayton proved a popular choice with 83 nominations citing he was ‘always there’ and ‘always smiling’.

‘Smiley’ receptionist Charlotte Pearson was also successfully nominated by students for an honour.

Rossendale’s Mayor and Mayoress Councillor Tom Aldred and Valerie Sanderson, along with local MPs Graham Jones and Jake Berry, Rossendale Council’s Young People’s Champion Steve Hughes, Chairman of Governors John Davey and many distinguished guests packed the school’s Sixth Form Theatre.

Prefects were hosts and also served food in a marquee.

The awards were organised by Head of Health, Food and Child Studies Kate Sieg-Hogg and will now become an annual event.